Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Steve Sax

Here are this weekends autograph opportunities and events throughout the Southland. As always, be sure to check the Blue Heaven Calendar for other events (a link can always be found on the tab at the top of this page, just left of center), and always confirm with the establishment. Everything is subject to change.  Please email me with any tips about upcoming events in Southern California.  As the rest of the week progresses I'll update this post with other events (if there are any) as I become aware of them.  Also, I don't always list every event below, so be sure to check my Calendar.  I always try to favor free signing events over paying events.  Click on any pic to embiggen.

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Steve Sax will be at Manuel's Original El Tepeyac Cafe in the City of Industry on Sunday, September 21, 2014 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM.  Hat Tip: Roberto at Vin Scully is My Homeboy. Prices: Autograph + Photo-Op = $25.00.


Manuel's Original El Tepeyac Cafe #2
13131 Crossroads Pkwy South
City of Industry, CA 91746

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Blog Kiosk: 9/17/2014 - Dodger Links - Moving AA & AAA to Oklahoma


It was a beautiful Colorado evening last night.  It was cool and partly cloudy with a slight breeze blowing in from left.  Heck, it was so nice the Dodgers decided to take a breather.  Actually, that's not entirely true.  The Dodgers got their hits, they just couldn't drive them home.

Once again, every Dodger position player (including the pitcher) got a hit, but they could only muster four runs.  Per Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider:
The National League’s No. 1 team with runners in scoring position had three hits but 11 outs, stranding 10 runners and wasting most of their 16 hits, including three by Justin Turner and Yasiel Puig’s first home run since July 31.
Yeah, it was one of those nights.  The Dodger loss and an subsequent Giants win over the Diamondbacks keeps the magic number at none.  The two photos above were taken by Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014Go here to check out more pic by him from yesterday's game.  Below are some links to check out:
As much coverage as a certain Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher has gotten in these pages (and others) in recent weeks, there are other good stories coming out of Chavez Ravine. Zack Greinke, even if he had to resort to hitting a home run to escape Clayton Kershaw's monstrous shadow this week, has been quietly having another solid year.
  • It is now official.  Per a Dodger press release, they are moving their AAA operations from Albuquerque to Oklahoma City in 2015.  In fact, they are buying a piece of the team.
The owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers have announced that they have reached an agreement with Mandalay Baseball Properties, LLC on the purchase of the Oklahoma City RedHawks.  The purchase would be part of a partnership in which Peter Guber will be the Executive Chairman and Managing Director of the team and partners Paul Schaeffer and Larry Freedman will manage the operations of the company.

The Dodgers also announced they will change their triple-A franchise affiliation to Oklahoma City in 2015 and continue to play in the Pacific Coast League, while moving to the American Northern Division. 
As Eric Stephen at True Blue LA notes, the Dodgers are also expected to move their AA club in Chattanooga to Tulsa.
The Dodgers contingent will make their way to Tulsa, 107 miles away, for a 1 p.m. PT press conference for what the Double-A Tulsa Drillers called on Wednesday "a major announcement regarding the franchise."
  • Via J.P. Hoornstra at Inside the Dodgers, "Dodgers’ third base coach details the perils of elevation on a player’s evolution."  JP speaks with Dodger coach Lorenzo Bundy about the difficulty in evaluating players in Albuquerque.  
  • Via a Dodgers press release, Clayton Kershaw has been named the Dodgers' nominee for the 2014 Roberto Clemente Award.
  • Via David Brown at Big League Stew, "Jake Peavy on next start: 'I was just in the shower thinking about Dee Gordon'"
  • Via Jon Heyman at CBS Sports, "DeJon Watson will be brought back for second interview in Arizona."
Watson, who's been considered instrumental in the development of Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, star outfielder Matt Kemp and many other young Dodgers, served as the scouting director and farm director of the Dodgers before rising to become an assistant to Ned Colletti in L.A. The Dodgers appear on their way to a second straight NL West crown.
  • GCRL shares the evolution of Dodger first baseman through baseball cards, part II.
  • I just love trip reports to amusement parks in foreign lands.  Check Chaos and Kanji at Enakyo Wonderland, Gifu Prefecture, Japan.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Welcome to the Blue, Daniel Coulombe!


Filed under unexpected, the Dodgers called up Chattanooga Lookouts left-handed reliever Daniel Coulombe to join the bullpen.  He is 24-years old, 5' 10", 185 lbs. and will wear #64.  Also, this is his very first trip to the "Show".  Congrats, kiddo!

Coulombe was originally drafted by the Dodgers in 2008 in the 17th Round, but elected to go to college instead.  He pitched at USC, then Texas Tech and had Tommy John Surgery in 2011.  Then in 2012 he was again drafted by the Dodgers in the 25th Round and immediately signed up.  Since then, Coulombe has quickly advanced from rookie ball to AA in less than three season.  Per a Dodger press release:
Coulombe, 24, combined to go 3-0 with six saves and a 2.89 ERA in 49 relief appearances with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Chattanooga this year. He posted a 2.57 ERA (6 ER/21.0 IP) with 31 strikeouts and only 10 walks in 18 regular-season appearances with the Lookouts after his July 17 promotion and also helped key Chattanooga's run to the Southern League championship series with three saves during the postseason. Overall, Coulombe limited opponents to a .214 batting average in the minors with 92 strikeouts and only 27 walks in 65.1 innings, including a .204 mark against left-handed hitters (20-for-98) and a .221 average against righties (31-for-140).
Daniel Coulombe has been very good this year, and could prove to be a sleeper arm in the 'pen.  He joins a left-handed bullpen that includes JP Howell, Scott Elbert, Paco Rodriguez and Paul Maholm.


In celebration of Daniel Coulombe's becoming a Dodger for the first time I made the above fantasy card for him.  I used a photograph taken by Ron Cervenka of Think Blue LA and the 1987 Topps Baseball card design.

Below are his career statistics, via Baseball Reference:


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2014 Topps Triple Threads Baseball - The Dodger Unity Jumbo Cards

Here is a final look at Topps 2014 Triple Thread Baseball card set.  Go here to check out all of my past post on this set.  Check out all of the Unity Dodger insert cards below.

BTW, according to a checklist there are three different AJ Ellis Unity Single Jumbo Relic cards, but I have only seen two different versions so far.  If you have a photo of the missing third card please pass it along. I also need a better photo of the Josh Beckett card.

Unity Single Jumbo Relics Set

#UJR-AE A.J. Ellis

Celebrating Orel Hershiser's Birthday with his Ten Best Cards

This post is something that I rarely do, but for this man... this great Dodger... I just couldn't help myself.

Today is Orel Hershiser's 56th Birthday, and I figured the best way to celebrate it would be to share my list of his Ten Best Baseball Cards.  Fortunately, there are plenty to choose from, and they run the gamut from the stupendous to the hilarious.  So, check them out below.

If I happen to neglect a card that you believe is worthy please let me know.  BTW, I did not include any cards with him in anything but Dodger Blue, so you shouldn't expect to see him in another team's uniform on this list.  Also, I refuse to accept that he ever played for that team up north.  Now, on to the list:

#10
I figured I would start this list with a World Series highlight set released by Fleer in 1989.  There are two different Hershiser cards in this insert set, and since I couldn't decide which one I like best I've included them both to start this list. 

Blog Kiosk: 9/16/2014 - Dodger Links - Magic Number is Now 9


The Dodger bats continue to be hot.  They knocked out eleven runs on fifteen hits in rout to an 11 to 3 victory over the Colorado Rockies last night.  Their big inning occurred in the sixth when they exploded for eight runs.  Overall, every starting position player got a hit; including a homer by Kemp and doubles by six other different players.

I think the above photo explains why they continue to be on fire.  As you can see above, the Dodgers treated themselves to some Popeye's Fried Chicken., pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014Go here to check out more pics from him from yesterday.

Of note, there was a little brouhaha in the Dodger dugout between Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig in the sixth inning.  It likely had to do with Puig not taking third base on a single to right field, so Kemp took exception and made sure Puig knew he wasn't pleased with his lack of hustle.  Of course, nobody in the clubhouse has any comments about the incident.  In fact, Mattingly called it a "family matter."

The Dodgers win and the Giants loss to the Diamondbacks last night pushes the Dodger lead in the Western Division to 4.0 games.  Also, the Dodgers magic number falls to single digits, 9.  Now, below are some links to check out:
One way to look at the dust-up between Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ dugout is as another example of what several people have called a “dysfunctional” clubhouse. That could well be true.

Another way to look at it is as a step forward for the team, with one prominent player demanding another prominent player take accountability for his actions. That also could be true. 
I think there's a bit of irony to this situation.  I recall when Kemp and his other younger cohorts also lacked the hustle and urgency demanded by surly veterans like Kent and Garciaparra.   Now, the shoe is on the other foot.
  • Via Eric Stephen at True Blue LA, "Hyun-Jin Ryu has cortisone shot in shoulder, unlikely to start before playoffs."  His MRI on Monday show nothing more serious than the shoulder inflammation discovered in May of this year.  So, he'll rest and join the team in Chicago in a few days.  I would suspect he'll not pitch til the playoffs.  Personally, I'd love for him to have before the playoffs start.
  • Just give him the Cy Young already!  Via a Dodgers press release, Clayton Kershaw has been named the National League Player of the Week for the week ending September 14. This is his second weekly award won this season (fifth overall in his career).
Kershaw was tied for the Major League-lead in wins, innings pitched and strikeouts, posting a 2-0 record with 17 strikeouts in 16.0 innings of work. The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner had a 1.69 ERA (3 ER/16.0 IP) for the week and held opponents to a .175 batting average. He allowed just three walks while scattering 10 hits across both of his starts.
He's performed best in close games, hitting .331 in 139 at-bats in which the teams were tied or within one run of each other. His six go-ahead or game-tying hits in the seventh inning or later lead the team. Kershaw can thank him for the two-run eighth-inning homer he hit that gave the Dodgers a 2-1 lead over the Padres, netting Kershaw his 15th win of the season. 

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    Monday, September 15, 2014

    2014 Topps Triple Threads Baseball - The Dodger Autographed Cards

    Here is a look at all of the Dodger autographed cards available in this years Triple Threads set; including the always popular Autographed Relic cards.  Go here to check out all of my past post on this set.  I hope to have pics of all the Unity Insert cards to share tomorrow. 

    All of the Clayton Kershaw autographed cards are available through a redemption card only.  Below is a checklist:

    • Transparencies Autographed Jumbo Relics Set - #TTT-CK (#/25 for base) (only one parallel - an Onyx "1 of 1") 
    • Autographed Relic Combos Set - #TTARC-SFK Clayton Kershaw, Scherzer & Fernandez (numbered to #/36 with numerous parallels)
    • Autographed Relic Double Combos Book Set- #TTARDC-6 Kershaw, Fernandez, Wheeler, Darvish, Miller & Scherzer (#/3 for base) (only one parallel - an Ruby "1 of 1")
    There are also several Dodger "cut" autographed cards available.  Unfortunately, they do not appear to have been found yet.  Below is a checklist:

    • Cut Above Autographs Set (1 of 1) - #TTCA-DS Don Sutton
    • Dual Cut Above Autographs Book Set - #TTDCA-4 Duke Snider & Pee Wee Reese
    • Dual Cut Above Autographs Book Set - #TTDCA-5 Duke Snider & Sandy Koufax
    Below are the Autographed Relic cards with pertinent (sometimes) phrases spelled out.  I say this because I'm not entirely sure that "4 Prizes" means in the second Fernando Valenzuela card below.

    Autographed Relics Set

    #TTAR-FV1 Fernando Valenzuela

    Dodgers to be on Free TV - Yeah!


    Free TV is kind of a misnomer.  Ain't it?  After all, there's no such thing as a free lunch, or at least that's what I understand.

    In great news for fans everywhere, the Dodgers will broadcast the last six games of the season (all home games) will be aired on KDOC.  WooHoo!

    Per a press release:
    Time Warner Cable today announced it has secured an agreement to broadcast the final week of Dodger games on KDOC. KDOC is an independent broadcast station that is carried by every cable, satellite and telco provider in Southern California and can also be received over the air with an antenna.
    ...
    Beginning September 22, Time Warner Cable will simulcast the remaining games of the season, featuring the iconic Vin Scully, on SportsNet LA and KDOC, subject to national broadcast commitments. The Dodgers face the Giants on September 22, 23 and 24 at 7:10 p.m. and then take on the Rockies on September 26 at 7:10 p.m., September 27 at 6:10 p.m. and September 28 at 1:10 p.m.
    This might be the case of "too little, too late," but on the other hand at least you'll will able to watch the last six games at home.  So, I guess this is a win for everybody.


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    Blog Kiosk: 9/15/2014 - Dodger Links - Winning Big Over Giants


    After a rocky start to the weekend series against the Giants, the Dodgers ended up being red-hot.  So hot, in fact, they surely fueled the heat that rained down on California this weekend.  They brought the fire that burnt our rivals up north to a crisp. 

    On Saturday, the Dodgers responded to the lopsided loss on Friday with one of their own the next day.  They scored 17 runs (a record in that stadium up north) on 24 hits; including a two-run home run by Zack Greinke.  Then, Clayton Kershaw came in on Sunday to do what he always does - pitch great.  The Dodgers won handily and took the weekend series two games to one.  The photo above proves that Kershaw isn't all about skill.  It's also about preparation.  Pic above via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014Go here to check out more photos from Sunday's game.

    The Dodgers start the day with an 3.0 lead over the Giants and a "Magic Number" of 11.  They play in Colorado tonight, and the Giants play in Arizona.  Below are some more links to check out:
    • The best quote I read regarding the Dodgers 17-0 victory over the Giants on Saturday is below.  It made me feel really old:


    “I almost kind of feel bad for him,” Los Angeles Dodgers veteran pitcher Dan Haren said. “Everyone just expects him to win, everyone just expects him to go out there and throw eight or nine innings and give up zero or one run. That must be quite the burden to put on him, but obviously it doesn’t seem to bother him.”
    “If you have a TUE, you have to take it,” he said. “And if you do not take it, and there’s a low amount, that means you’re using it only when you want it — not when you need it. They monitor how you take it, how much is in your system. The milligram amount, if it’s above or below what’s expected on your prescription, that’s considered a fail. That’s how I understand the rule.”

    Even though Howell didn’t remember which drug he took, he remembered how much he disliked its side effects. After a month of using the drug in 2008, when he pitched for the Tampa Bay Rays, Howell informed the team that he was going to stop.
    Manager Don Mattingly hasn't confirmed that Ryu won't start in Colorado, but essentially did Sunday when he said that Frias is "working toward" the Wednesday night start and won't be used out of the bullpen "unless we get news that Hyun-Jin can pitch, and that's not likely."
      BTW, Hyun-Jin Ryu will be having an MRI today, so stay tuned for that.  Hopefully, whatever ails Ryu is minor and a little rest is all that is needed.  It would be great if he was ready to go when the playoffs start.

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      Sunday, September 14, 2014

      Sunday Dodger Videos: Ryu, Lasorda and Saturday Game Highlights

      Here are this Sunday's Dodger videos.

      Listen to both Hyun-Jin Ryu and AJ Ellis speak after Friday's disastrous game.

      Video Link:

      From September 6, 2014, Scott Akasaki, the Dodgers’ Director of Team Travel, engaged Hall-of-Famer Tommy Lasorda in an intimate discussion of Lasorda’s role as a baseball ambassador to Japan and other countries. The program, part of the Tateuchi Public Program Series, was held in the Tateuchi Democracy Forum at the Japanese American National Museum.

      Video Link:

      If you missed yesterday's game then you missed a doozy.  The Dodgers hammered the Giants for 1 run.  Watch game highlights below.

      Video Link:

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